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Tips for a candle workshop?????????


kandlenutz
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HI!!! I am up late again (I work nights 7p-7a), so on my nights off, I cant sleep and my mind wont turn off! So, here is my situation!

I am going to make a "candle workshop" room in my basement. I am sooooo tired of my kitchen being a mess all the time, and all my supplies scattered throughout my house! I am looking for ANY suggestions/recommendations for the workshop, things that will better organize it, places to look for old tables, cabinets, (I have a post on craigslist), I want to organize my labels, wicks, jars,molds,.... all of it! Any ideas as to what you all do for organization and area layout would GREATLY be appreciated!

Thanks EVERYONE!

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I just finished reassembling mine, I move often being active duty Air Force. I made my table tall enough so that I do not have to bend down when working on it and only one side is against the wall so I am able to work on three of the sides. It is about 4 feet deep and has drawers and shelves on top of it against the wall that holds most everything I need with in arms reach.

I like to group things together according to how they will be used. My production area includes wax, scents, colors, scales, etc. Basically everything to make a candle. Then an area for finishing with trays, storage, scrap wax bin, what ever is needed to prepare the candle for wrapping. Next is packaging, labels, bags, stickers, and so on. Then a storage area and finally a shipping area.

You would be amazed at how little space it actually takes. My work table is about 4 by 7 with drawers and has shelves underneath too holding more supplies. The room is just big enough to walk around the table on all three sides and everything is either underneath or on top of the table. My storage shelves are only 6 inch deep and they are on the wall so I can stack the finished candles.

Hope that makes sense.

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If you do have money to buy one thing new, I suggest this cart from IKEA

Its a lifesaver for me, because with it being on wheels I can move it around my work room freely and its a snap to clean with its stainless top. You have to retighten the screws every once and awhile if you use it for really heavy stuff.. but mine has stood up to the stress for 5 years.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00058487

I also use IKEA "GORM" shelving. I add exrta shelves to use as show display, and remove shelves to use for storing my oils, jars, so on and so forth. They can hold ANYTHING, total lifesaver. And they come in two sizes.

My brother actually built a nice work table out of one of the larger ones by cutting it in half, placing it at either end of a cheap countertop we got in the discount bin at Lowes, and bam, table with storage underneath for under $55.00

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My advice on a table is to make sure it is very solid and sturdy. And have as much table space available as your work shop will allow. Also, make sure your FO shelves are sturdy. They get heavy after you add a hundred or so. :cheesy2:

Lastly, I used to struggle with my wicks no end until I read someone else's suggestion to use one of those over the door clear shoe holder thingies. Now I have assorted wicks clearly marked and easily accessible. Although I buy by the thousand, I store the big bags in boxes and keep a few hundred handy to grab.

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Lastly, I used to struggle with my wicks no end until I read someone else's suggestion to use one of those over the door clear shoe holder thingies. Now I have assorted wicks clearly marked and easily accessible. Although I buy by the thousand, I store the big bags in boxes and keep a few hundred handy to grab.

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I had thought about doing that, and i actually already have one in my attic bedroom, that I am not using! I am soooo excited to get this room put together!

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My most important thing in my workshop is CLEAR rubbermaid type containers and drawers. I am the rubbermaid queen!!! I prefer the clear because you don't have to label them so it makes it easy to repurpose the containers as needed. I have an entire wall (floor to ceiling) of the white wire shelves (think linen closet) and having the clear containers makes it super easy to find things quickly on the shelves. I use the large ones on the floor to store my B&B containers & bottles and smaller ones to organize everything else under the sun above. I also have the little plastic drawers on a shelf under my work bench to organize my most used wicks I have all the others in the marked ziplock bags they come in organized by type (CD, LX, ECO, etc) in plastic shoe boxes next to it. I use the larger drawers under a different part of the work bench to organize caution labels, candle colors, additives, etc. in plastic drawer organizers from the dollar store. I also have dog food bins with big dog food scoops under the bench to store open bags of my palm wax in. The scoops make it really easy to scoop wax into my presto. I know many people just leave it in the bags but I have 2 dogs that like to "help" me and the bag has gotten knocked over once spilling it everywhere, plus the bins keep dust, dog fur, etc out of the wax between uses. I just bought them a little at a time as my budget allowed and it made a HUGE difference in the long run. Until then I just used the smaller boxes things were shipped to me in and marked them.

My bench is just old kitchen counter tops that I got for free on craiglist that my husband used some 2x4's to built an "L" shaped stand for and put a MDF shelf about 1/2 to the floor on one (longer) section of it to store my wicks, molds, etc on and I can stack my boxes of jars under.I put down some of those rubber mats with the holes in them so that any wax that spilled would fall thru and not make a slippery surface but still offer a little relief from the cement floor.

I would STRONGLY suggest making sure that your workspace is counter height rather than just a folding table/table height. When I first started I used an extra folding table I had as my work table. My back would hurt terribly after a long pour session.

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I went to Wal-Mart and got the plastic storage containers with drawers. I use the shoe box size for tons of stuff. Each wick has its own drawer. Colors and dyes, stirring sticks and such, anything you can think of. I use the ones with the big drawers for ribbons, bottle, caps, stuff like that.

My candle room is a second kitchen in the basement so I have a pantry type closet, cupboards, oven, fridge, etc. I just organized it to a way that was good for ME. Also, I agree with a tall table. I have a table in mine that I am going to build a platform for because I never use it since I have to stoop so much.

One thing that I did before I organized and bought things was this. Sit down and write a basic list of the items you need. Then decide how many areas you need. Write out your routine when you make a candle. This will help you know the order in which you need to move around the room. Decide what type of things you want to store in. Plastic, boxes, shelves, etc. I even went as far as to draw out the room as I invisioned it then did what I could to make the space I had work to that drawing.

Like posted above, make as many sections as YOU need, not what others do or what you think you will need. Just make sure it flows so that when you are working, you can move easily from one area to the other without doing a lot of backtracking.

Don't be afraid to say I hate this over here and then move it. I had a couple of things that took forever to admit did not work where I thought they would. Once I took a look from a new prospective, I was able to make minor adjustments.

Lastly, try your best to stay organized. I know that is easier said than done, but it can make you or break you. I have gotten in the habit of cleaning everything when I am done. I don't let it sit until later or say I'm too tired and wait til tomorrow. Because then when you get started, you just end up working around it and that gives you obstacles. My inventory was the one that took me the longest to get organized. My 15 yo daughter got so frustrated watching me go nuts not knowing what I had, that she took one Saturday and created a system for me that works like a charm, lets me know what I have at a glance and although it took time to set up, it is a piece of cake to maintain.

I guess the bottom line and most important thing I can say and stress is to make sure you take everything you are suggested and create a way that is best for you. Just cause one thing works great for me does not mean it will be great for you. Have fun, make it your own and your room will be fantastic!!

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thank you so much for all the helpful hints! you girls sure have it together! I desperatley needed a room for all this and to get organized b/c i was spending so much time back tracking and looking for things, not to mention the clean up time in my kitchen. I have taken some pics and as soon as i get my laptop working, I am going to download them. The room is a work in progress, and i havent gotten to work in it yet, so as mentioned, I may get in there and decide something just isnt going to work like i had thought! I think after i get all the kinks in the room worked out, I do need to come up w/ a inventory process. In the past i have had placed an order, and then b/c of my poor inventory work, had to order more not long after, and of course I had wasted $ on shipping! so, I am going to try and get these pics up asap. If any of you see anything you want to comment on, feel free, I am not easily offended and I welcome the suggestions!

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Besides shelving & tables & plastic bins & drawers, I have a couple of heavier rolling tables - one is a home-version of the ones used for hospital beds and the other is an upright one I made from plywood. Very nice to be able to roll stuff where you want it while you're pouring, then push it out of the way when not in use. :)

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Alot of you have mentioned rolling tables/carts. That may be something I find that i want when I get down there working. I am still waiting for my laptop to work again, I think the battery has finally given out. I got as far as downloading my pics, and then it died on me.So, as soon as i get it all working, I will post some pics up here!

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I have a cart that holds full sheet baking pans. It was given to me and so I use that to roll things out of the way.

Another thing I got was a huge food grade storage container for my wax. I do not store it in the cardboard boxes. One container will hold 50 lbs of wax. I also have similar containers for aroma beads, corn cob, and then smaller 1 and 2 gal ones for B&B stuff. Baking soda, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cream of tartar, etc. I buy these items in bulk and so I get enough to fill the container at a time and it makes it great for storage. Then I just bought small plastic scoops that are 1/2 c for easy measuring.

Not that mine is better than anyone elses, but I will send you pictures of some of the things I use for storage if you need ideas.

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That is the beauty of making your storage "modular" either with rolling carts, plastic drawers/bins, etc...if it isn't working just keeping moving things around until it does.

I forgot to mention that I inherited a big rolling shelving unit (see similar below) when my SIL was moving and didn't have room for it. It is GREAT for putting all of my packaging supplies (bags, ribbon, gift basket boxes, etc) on then I can just roll it over to the bench and have everything I need right there then it rolls out of the way when I am done until I need it again. It also serves as a "wall" in my finished product storage area when not in use to make a walkway into my main workshop area to define the different areas a little.

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=168602

I am planning on getting the matching rolling cart to use as a mobile cooling stand to increase my cooling area to help get more done when I fire up my big melters so I am not limited on how many jars I can pour by counter space.

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http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/nav...=5&item=168602

I checked that pic out, and I do have something similar, but it isnt on wheels, Im so clumsy, I would probably knock it over if it was, LOL....

Well, I figured out that the charger is what is bad w/ my laptop, so I am getting ready to see if i can get one off of ebay, and HOPEFULLY, i can get some pics to show you all later this week, I work tues and wed night, so probably wont be till thursday. I def want to show ya what i did though!

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Lastly, I used to struggle with my wicks no end until I read someone else's suggestion to use one of those over the door clear shoe holder thingies. Now I have assorted wicks clearly marked and easily accessible. Although I buy by the thousand, I store the big bags in boxes and keep a few hundred handy to grab.

I use bins (they are black with a yellow strip) from lowe's there is 4 or so that attach on a strip on the wall. THen when I take them off to use them and put them back to store them and the wicks fit in perfectly.

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oh, I guess it did work! The counter top that is leaning on the wall, is now on 2 cabinets, like the other one is! I finally got to work in it, and I LOVE it! soooooo much easier! and my kitchen is staying clean too! Thanks for all the tips! I appreciate everyones input!

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  • 7 months later...

It looks great! I'm in the process of doing the same thing in our guest bedroom. I have a 48" wide, 5-shelf standing wire unit (from Lowe's) for my jars and for candles to cool on, some drawers for storage, now I need the TABLE. I have room for a 7' table, which would be awesome. Is the countertop-on-cabinet combo working well for you? That seems like such a nice, simple way to have workspace and storage without asking hubby to build a table (or pay several hundred dollars for one).

Edited by Catlover
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